Millennials and the Dress Code Guide for Publicity

businessattireYes, there appears to be a new sheriff in town and, whoever it is, has become the authority on the new dress code for the Millennial generation.

Gone are the days when suits and ties were the norm.  It’s obvious that business attire has changed significantly over the years, especially in the last 20 years. Too many people have forgotten why proper business attire is important. It seems as though the younger you are, the less you care about the idea of “dressing to impress” in the workplace. The philosophy could be, “As long as I do my job, what I choose to wear should be no big deal.”

I do believe there are dress codes in place in the workplace for a reason and there should be a difference between the way you dress for work and the way you dress at home or when you go to the club.  Millennial workplace expert Lindsay Pollak says, “…people really do judge your professionalism based on how you look…But even as workplace dress codes change, one thing does not: Dressing for success still matters.”

And yes, Lindsay is right, but, on the other hand, maybe these are Millennials who are just starting out and really don’t know what dressing to impress means.  They don’t know how their attire brands them.  Maybe they don’t have the money to afford what is classified as real business attire or maybe they just can’t invest because they have other obligations like “family.”

But you know what?  I dispel that theory because I have found some very nice things at thrift store.

Perhaps being an aging baby boomer has turned me into an old-fashioned, judgmental cynic who is trying to raise everyone else’s dress code standards based on my own.  After all, I’ve been in the workforce more nearly 40 years so I ought to know a thing or two about dressing to impress, right?

Whatever else we think about dressing for success, we need to be reminded that first impressions are everything, and we only get one chance to make a positive first impression. What you choose to wear in a business environment cane make or break your publicity image.  Even if you think showing a little more cleavage or other parts of your anatomy is sexy, it sends the wrong message about who you might really be.

And even Mark Zuckerberg could use a few tips on how to dress to impress.  But I guess wearing a hoodie and flip flops doesn’t matter when you own the Company.

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Ask Duke How to Handle Negative Publicity

No one likes bad publicity.  It can be a thorn in your side because not only can it ruin your public image and reputation but it can have a life shelf of FOREVER thanks to social media.

But if you want to know how to get rid of negative publicity (or gloss it over), you might want to consult with Duke University.  From my view, they are the masters of turning a horribly, bad situation into a positive one.  So why do I say this?

Here’s the deal:  While exercising around the Duke Campus Wall this summer, I noticed the construction of a new building on Buchanan Blvd.  This beautiful new, stand-out, green building sits on the same grounds where another building used to be.  That structure, located at 610 Buchanan Blvd, was dingy and white and the scene of one of the biggest scandals to rock the Duke University campus back in 2006.   It was known as the Duke University Lacrosse rape scandal and it brought out the ugliness of white privilege, class and race.  But when you drive down that same street today, you probably won’t even remember where the “scene of the alleged crime” took place because the evidence no longer exists.

So how do you get rid of negative publicity?


buchanan_boulevard_house-400x300rsz_1dukeGet Rid of the Evidence:  That’s what Duke did.  After the alleged incident in 2006, the building on the left remained vacant until it was demolished in 2010.  This year you now see this beautiful green structure that gives no signs of anything terrible ever happening on that street. All you see is a nice, quaint neighborhood full of greenery and big homes.  It’s kind of like an “out of sight out of mind” mentality.

610 Buchanan Blvd old versus new structure

Let Time Pass:  Unlike remembering the victim(s) of a terrible crime, the local media has not dug back into its archives to remind us of what allegedly happened on the night of March 13, 2006.  It’s probably because all charges were dropped against the Duke Lacrosse boys and they have gone on to, not only settle with the University for a reported $20 million each, but also landed great paying jobs.  Reade Seligmann ended up graduating from Brown University, and then went to law school at Emory University. At last report, he was working as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Collin Finnerty finished his degree at Loyola College in Maryland. At last report, he was working as an analyst at Deutsche Bank. David Evans who was a senior at the time of the scandal, graduated from Duke in 2008 and is now working at Apax Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm, as a Senior Associate in the Consumer team.

Attack the Credibility of the Accuser:  Since I wasn’t there that night, I don’t know what happened but in my heart of hearts I believe something did.  Was it rape?  Perhaps not but when you get a bunch of drunk ass white boys who think they’re privileged, at the very least there was some trash talking about superiority and race.  Over the course of the scandal, however, police reports, media investigations, and defense attorneys’ motions and press conferences brought to light several key inconsistencies in Crystal Mangum’s story.   Of course, she didn’t help her case any by not being able to clearly identify her alleged attackers.  Later we learned that the victim had a troubled past and may have had some deeply rooted mental issues and the media wasted no time using them against her.  Her “troubles” landed her in prison in 2013 after being found guilty of the second degree murder of her boyfriend, a crime she says she committed in self defense because he was assaulting her.

Focus of the Positive:  In 2010, Duke won its first NCAA lacrosse championship.  In the 2013 season, Duke won a second and in 2014, Duke won their third lacrosse championship.  Of course, we all know what the Duke Blue Devils basketball team does year after year.

So if you find yourself facing some negative publicity, feel free to take a page out of Duke’s history and keep it movin’.


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It’s a FREEkend August Promotion at 7-Eleven

Seven_ElevenHats off to 7-Eleven® for coming up with a clever way to utilize mobile marketing to show its appreciation to its customers as well as expand its customer base.  During the hot, dog days of summer, this business has come up with a pretty cool promotion.

This is a great way to reach Millennials who are all about mobile marketing.  According to comScore, the research firm that looks at how people navigate digital, consumers between the ages of 25-34 use apps more than any other age group: to the tune of about 75 hours per month. (for the complete report click HERE)

Although I can count, on one hand, the number of the times I’ve been to a 7-Eleven in North Carolina, I might be inclined to visit the convenience store much more often in order to take advantage of their FREEkend Weekends in August.

Here’s a portion of their press release:

7-Eleven®, the one who brought America free Slurpee®drinks on 7-ELEVEN Day, followed by several days of free snacks and drinks during 7Rewards™Week, is launching a new offer in August – FREEkends™. That’s short for FREE Weekends, and the offer is just that. Added bonus, August has five weekends this year.

7-Eleven will launch its FREEkend offers Aug. 1 for 7Rewards members using the 7-Eleven mobile app. That weekend’s free offer will appear in the “Scan and Save” section of the app at noon Central Daylight Time (CDT) every Saturday and Sunday in August. To redeem, customers present the featured item along with their 7-Eleven app to be scanned at the register. No purchase is necessary, and offers are good while supplies last at participating 7-Eleven stores.

The weekly FREEkend freebies are:

  • Aug 1-2, medium Fanta® Slurpee® drink
  • Aug. 8-9, Juicy Fruit® Starburst® gum
  • Aug. 15-16, medium Fanta® Slurpee® drink
  • Aug. 22-23, SNICKERS® Brand Singles Bar (1.76 – 1.78oz)
  • Aug. 29-30, Butterfinger® bar (1.9oz)

Registered 7Rewards members will receive emails and SMS text messages notifying them of that week’s offer. The offer also will appear on Only one offer can be redeemed per day and will disappear from the member’s “Scan and Save” section in the app once used. If a FREEkend offer is redeemed on Saturday, the offer will be removed from the app until Sunday at noon CDT, when it will reappear on the app. During each day’s offer, the app will show the percentage of free items still available in stores. Even though it’s free, each FREEkend Slurpee drink redeemed counts as a punch toward the 7Rewards “Buy 6, Get 7th Free” beverage rewards program.

About 7-Eleven Inc. 

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based inDallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses nearly 10,500 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are more than 56,400 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies for 2013; #2 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2015 Top Global Franchise list; #10 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2015, and #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start. 7-Eleven is No. 3 on Fast Company magazine’s 2013 list of the “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail.” 7-Eleven places among Top Veteran-Friendly Companies for 2014 by U.S. Veterans Magazine and is among GI Jobs magazine’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers for 2014. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at

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Using Photos for Publicity

As I’ve written before I am a strong advocate for using videos and written content to generate publicity. The more you have—the better.

Now I want to share another way you can get great exposure:  By using photographs taken of you at events.

It shows you are out and about and depending on what the event is, it shows you are active in your community. Anytime I go anywhere, I take a camera.  And in the event I forget the camera, I use my camera phone.

Photos always tell a story and can put you in a very favorable light personally and professionally so get in the habit, take a camera, take some pictures and start posting them.   rsz_katieparty10



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GenSwap in the Workplace


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